top of page


Boophis albi
Molly and Vatuosa swabbing
IMG_9080 (1)
Boophis tasymena_edited
Mantidactylus cowani_edited

Immunological ecology || Disease Management || Decision science

Our research asks fundamental and applied ecological questions to better understand emerging infectious diseases in wildlife and development disease management solutions.

We ask questions at the intersection of microbial ecology, disease ecology, and conservation using a variety of tools from culture-based assays to animal experiments to predictive models. We engage intentionally with managers and federal agencies to guide and translate our work into effective, science-based management and policy related to wildlife health. 

Microbiomes in Host Health

We are increasingly recognizing that microbiomes are important for host health, disease protection, and ecosystem function. Our research brings this area of study to wildlife hosts, exploring the factors driving community assembly of amphibian bacterial communities and the function of these communities at local, regional, and global scales. We are interested in the intersection of microbiome function and host defenses and how their interplay contributes to host resilience or disease progression.


Bipartite network illustrating the role of ecomorphology in amphibian microbiome structure. Read about the full study here.

Pathogens in Wildlife Trade

Host and environmental factors, along with socioeconomic factors, play a role in amplifying and suppressing pathogens in wildlife trade networks. As a Co-PI on a recently funded NSF Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases grant, my team will use robust experiments to quantify how ecological conditions in trade network nodes contribute to pathogen transmission and spread.  Visit our project site to learn more


Mantella aurantiaca, a commonly traded frog species from Madagascar.

Disease Management Strategies

Addressing wildlife diseases requires more than building ecological understanding; we need implementable strategies that optimize managers’ goals. Disease management strategies can target aspects of the hosts’ skin mucosal environment as well as components of the surrounding environment. We conduct disease management research locally in the eastern US and internationally in Madagascar exploring skin probiotics, vaccination, and environmental manipulations.


Applying nanoparticle vaccines to eastern newt larvae for a factorial experiment 

Supporting Decision-makers with Decision Science 

Wildlife managers face an array of challenges that require integrative strategies to enable informed decision making and effective conservation action. 

We partner with managers and agencies in North America to inform wildlife disease management decisions for their managed lands. We work with them to approach these wildlife disease challenges as decisions, and use decision science tools to identify where and how science can reduce the critical uncertainties pertinent to the manager’s decision.


Decision maker workshop to address the risk of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans introduction and establishment.

bottom of page